Portugal Privatizes Energy Companies
Portugal is looking to privatize its energy sector, planning to sell its state-owned electricity, gas and oil companies to private entities by mid-November. The move comes as an attempt by Portugal to free itself of aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
Portugal Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho announced the decision and hopes the sales will be completed by the end of next year. He believes the sales will raise upward of 7 billion euros.
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The country also plans to meet its targets of reducing its budget deficit to 5.9 percent of gross domestic product this year. Coelho believes the country could be in surplus before interest charges hit in 2012.
Portugal, like other European Union member nations, is concerned about the Union’s economic decline. “If Greece sinks, all of the European Union will be in danger,” says Coelho. 'The middle classes will have to make important sacrifices,' he says, describing that as 'the price to pay for a country which has overspent for a long time.'
What’s unfortunate is that it is not the middle class that makes the spending decisions that get countries like Portugal into debt, it is the wealthy ruling elite that do. So why, then, should the middle class be expected to make sacrifices? Why not the wealthy? After all, the wealthy not only make the policies that end up bankrupting nations, but also control the bulk of the wealth. In Portugal’s case, the companies that were built up through state-directed funds (a.k.a. the citizens’ tax dollars) will now be sold to wealthy international companies. However, the primary shareholders in those state-owned enterprises, the people of Portugal, are essentially duped out of their investment. Just another power grab orchestrated beautifully by the financial powers at be.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.